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Last October, the Very Reverend Gary Hall became the 10th dean of Washington National Cathedral. Having led Episcopal dioceses in Massachusetts, California and Michigan before coming to D.C., Hall demonstrated early on that he's willing to make waves. He is an outspoken advocate for gun control and announced that same-sex marriages will be held at the cathedral. Kojo talks with Hall about his reputation as a fixer and his plans for the nation's landmark church.
Renovation efforts continue at Washington National Cathedral, and are expected to continue for years to come, after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck the East Coast in August 2011 and damaged the landmark. Officials estimate initial repairs will cost $15 million and take at least 10 years to complete. Some decorative elements will be re-carved, some will be replaced, and all will be strengthened for long term preservation. The base of the cathedral oscillated slightly during the 40-second quake, and protective netting now engulfs the main level’s ceiling. But the bulk of damage affected the 300-foot bell tower, situated at the center of the church and also the highest point in Washington, D.C.
Learn more about the earthquake repairs, find answers to frequently asked questions and contribute to the restoration fund.
“I think it really smashes a lot of ideas about what the Smithsonian does and what it’s supposed to do,” one curator says of the African-American Museum’s growing collection.